The Lynn Parks and Recreation summer basketball league came to a conclusion on Friday evening with the three final games played at Marian Gardens. The league crowned three champions at the conclusion of Friday’s action. Buzzy Barton won the elementary division championship while Bruno’s Bar and ERC Wiping took the crowns in the middle school and high school divisions, respectively.
“For the Lynn Parks and Recreation league, the championship is always a big event for the kids,” Fred Hogan, who helps organize the league, said. “They act like Marian Gardens is a big stadium. They get here and they’re excited to play. It’s a fun turnout, everyone really comes out for it.”
In the elementary championship game, Buzzy Barton held on for a 44-39 win over Rick Ford. Tied at 18-18 with 2:30 to play in the first half, Buzzy Barton went on an 8-2 run to take a 26-20 lead at recess. Buzzy Barton continued to surge in the opening minutes of the second half, mounting an 11-point lead at 31-20. Rick Ford fought back to take the lead with 1:34 to play but Buzzy Barton finished on an 8-0 surge to seal the win, 44-39.
“The kids in the elementary game got here really early and started playing around noon time,” Hogan said. “The coaches were worried about them being tired but they’re just so excited to be here.”
The game’s MVP award was handed to Buzzy Barton’s Nasi Simmons, who finished with 10 points, eight rebounds and two assists. Rafael Zayas added 10 points and six rebounds and Isaiah Jean scored eight points.
For Rick Ford, Denzell Guillen scored nine points and grabbed four rebounds, while Daron Guillen contributed with eight points and three assists.
In the middle school championship game, Bruno’s Bar and Burger earned a 57-44 come-from-behind win over St. Michael’s. Bruno’s Bar trailed 28-24 at halftime and fell into a nine-point deficit, 37-28, early in the second half. That’s when Bruno’s Bar woke up and stormed itself back into the game, tying it at 39-39 with eight minutes remaining and finishing on an 18-5 run for the win.
Bruno’s Bar’s Taj Purter earned the game’s MVP Award. Purter scored 21 points and grabbed four rebounds, while Li Rivera added 15 points, three rebounds and two assists.
For St. Michael’s, Marc Garraud led the way with 16 points and three steals, and Rondell Brathwaite and Hector Celado each contributed with eight points.
In the high school final, ERC Wiping pulled away in the closing minutes for a 55-48 win over John Walsh. ERC and John Walsh were neck and neck for the majority of the contest, as the biggest deficit either team faced midway through the second half was four points. Alert defense allowed ERC to create turnovers into a seven-point cushion at 51-44 with two minutes to remaining. From there, ERC held on for the win.
ERC’s Angel Soto earned the game’s MVP honors, tallying 16 points and seven rebounds. Jeffery Barbosa and Abraham Diaz each contributed with 13 points.
For John Walsh, Abdoul Barry led the way with 17 points and three rebounds while Raynel Nunez and Wallace Reed each added eight points.
Hogan and Jeff Byrd, who also helps run the league, both agreed that this year’s running was a success.
“It did awesome,” Hogan said. “We get the t-shirts one day and they’re gone the next day. It’s a free basketball league put on by the city of Lynn and the kids look forward to it every year. Me and Mr. Byrd have been running it for a long time. This has been around for 25 years.”
“It has been going on for 25 years and it’s nothing but fun,” Byrd said. “All summer long, we played at East Lynn two nights and West Lynn two nights. Tonight was the night East Lynn and West Lynn played for all the gold.”
The tournament couldn’ t have been played without the support of the sponsors: Gannon Building Association Pizza Lovers, Salem Five, Mayor Judith Flanagan Kennedy, Rick Ford Candidate for Councilor at Large, RAM Electrical, Lynn Community Development, Buzzy Barton Councilor at Large, North Shore Heating Supply, Bruno’s Bar and Burgers, Dandreo Brothers General Contractors, Columbia Insurance Agency, Robert Irvine & Sons Inc., St. Michaels Home Association, Annmarie Jonah Realtors, Lynn Firefighters Local 739, John “Jay” Walsh Councilor Ward 7, Dellulis Brothers Construction, Accurate Graphics, Cataldo Ambulance Service, Leahy Landscaping, Solimine Funeral Home, ERC Wiping Products and the Lynn
Housing Authority and Neighborhood Development.
Byrd and Hogan also credited their staff for the help they offered throughout the summer. The members of this summer’s staff were Corey Bingham, Jarnell Byrd, Kiana Cedeno, Geanni Ferreira, Lashaunda Hogan and Kenny Turner.